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Question for Titan-swappers

4111 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  TWX
I'm still mulling over what I want to do to my Frontier. A full Titan swap is off the table, but I am admittedly annoyed with the bolt-pattern change for the wheels compared to the D21/D22 trucks, plus the reduced aftermarket support for the hubs with the 6 on 4.5" wheel stud pattern. The Titan and the other bigger F-alpha platforms continue to use 6 on 5.5", but the hubs don't just interchange, the Frontier uses an offset four-bolt pattern to attach the hub to the steering knuckle while the Titan uses a three-bolt pattern.

That got me wondering about the steering knuckles themselves. Have any of you Titan swappers compared the Frontier steering knuckles with the Titan steering knuckles? I'm curious if they continue to use roughly the same distance between the balljoint studs, if the steering link attachment is in the same place, and if the hub center hole is roughly in the same place, such that one could swap bolt-patterns by swapping steering knuckles without having to swap control arms. That would allow the wheels to remain tucked-under the truck in the wheel wells, but would offer a much greater selection of wheels and possibly things like manual locking front hubs.

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I came from a Hardbody as well, as the new bolt pattern really pissed me off when I first bought my truck. However I am over it now and it doesn't bother me anymore. I could see if you were shopping for used or new aftermarket wheels that can be an issue and limit your selection. Or if you had a bunch of wheel from your HB that you wanted to use on the D40. However the 6x4.5" pattern is not that rare. Dodges use it for their mid size trucks and SUVs. Dakotas and Durangns.

As for the knuckles. Yes they are swappable. I think the main issue is the hub and CV axle interface. I think the splines and ends are different. You would have to also swap in a m205 diff. Brakes are different too (?).
I figured that it would be an all-or-nothing swap, using the brakes, hubs, etc from the Titan. Hadn't gotten to the point of counting splines on the ends of the axles yet, so haven't looked to see if the spline count is the same or not, and if it isn't then it would require more consideration.

As for the rear axle, in the street car world it's not uncommon to have a truck Dana60 cut-down to fit into muscle cars, and works well so long as the existing axle shafts don't taper-down past the splines, so the splines can be machined further down the axle before the axle is shortened to match the cut-down housing. Unfortunately if an axle shaft does have that taper then it requires new ones from scratch. I have not yet compared the rears to see if the Titan's caliper mounts are the same as a Frontier's or not, if they are then it would be taking Titan axle shafts, having them cut down and splined to fit the Frontier axle, then using the Titan brakes if they bolt-up. If they don't use the same caliper mounts then it's having a Titan axle narrowed, with the shock mounts and perches moved out to the right distance for the leafsprings. The rear end is considerably easier than the front though, as performance shops are already used to doing this rear axle work.
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Found a video on Youtube where they're doing a Titan swap, they describe UCA, LCA, and CV shafts for Titan going into Frontier, but they don't mention doing a Titan steering knuckle and it doesn't look in the video like they swapped them...

Titan Swap Video
If I were going to do the front I would do the back too, but the front is the harder one to do since it's not as straightforward as having an axle narrowed and the perches and shock mounts changed, or again if the caliper mounts on the flanges at the ends of the tubes are the same, just swapping Titan parts onto the Frontier axle.
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